Selfish: Permission to Pause, Live, Love and Laugh Your Way to Joy
An excerpt from Selfish: Permission to Pause, Live, Love and Laugh Your Way to Joy
“Throughout the years to come, I’d experience hurdle, after hurdle, just to jump over and beyond tiny dirt mountains culminated mostly from my own doing. Although I stayed away from drugs and alcohol, with the exception of a Bill Clinton style non-inhale of marijuana moment and those four glasses of sex on the beach with one of my teenage besties that had me vomiting profusely, I went down a different type of self-punishment slope. It would be years before I could move through the guilt, I felt for choosing myself over my baby brother. The permission to live that I gave myself came at a cost and the price I’d pay would be internal turmoil. All through high school and into my early adult years, I wrestled with my vacillating attachment issues. I’d fluctuate between avoidant-dismissive behaviors to being anxious and preoccupied. Harboring so much anger and resentment towards my mother and my father, feeling exhausted by my grandmother’s mental health illness and gambling addictions, I was furious on the inside, all the time.”
Right before an intensive on “How Men and Women Lead Differently,” a VP of a Bank Headquartered in Pennsylvania, named Trisha- asked me a quality question. Was Selfish just a book being written because I felt like I needed to share my story, or because I knew telling it would help other women learn and grow? The answer quite simply was a resounding, “both.” The truth is, I felt a pull in late 2011, a few months after I opened the doors to my first company, to pen this book. Nervous about how to start, I began with where I was mentally and started to audio record what I then deemed my S.O.T (short for stream of thought) into a handheld recorder. I carried it everywhere and tried to reflect on the major areas of my life where I may have picked up certain habits, rituals, defense mechanisms, avoidance techniques and so on.
As I reflected, I didn’t realize how important it would be for me to fully live out the life I was trying to teach others. The precepts for what would become the published book, would literally be pages from soul, torn out and stretched out for the world to read. Writing my life down in words as I lived each line out loud was one of the most difficult truths I’d ever share. There was no cleaning up what was happening in real time. The book I was meant to write would have to be more than a memoir, more than a personal transformation story, it would need to be a deep exploration of wounds that hadn’t healed before I would be granted the right to guide others through their own holistic soul surgery.
Selfish isn’t just a book about going after your dreams and telling others NO along the way, it’s about breaking the expectations that bind you and creating a space to put YOU on the top of the list so you have the fuel and energy you need to release your success (and truly enjoy it)….unapologetically and boldly. It is a word that needs to be redefined, away from the shame others have associated with it. We do not need to get into a trivial debate over semantics or the etymology of the word. For that would only take us down the road of how one man, a Presbyterian archbishop in 1640 coined the word and decided it was bad to love on yourself before others. That would lead us down the road of religion, politics, ethics, race, gender and a ton of other places that quite frankly our world has enough divisiveness around. So instead I share that I have decided (as that man 400+ years ago did) to change the conversation around the word to one that empowers you to be authentic, transparent and stand in integrity.
If you can move to a place where you are healed and love yourself, then you can do greater works in this world, which is ultimately best for all of humanity.
Live Fully and You’ll Enjoy the Balance of All of Your Days…
- Naketa Ren Thigpen, #1 Best Selling Author of Selfish (and) CEO of ThigPro Balance and Relationship Management Institute